Raise A Reader is a good example of a multicultural family story time held for immigrant families and their children, birth to age five, at an elementary school in east Vancouver.
From The New Yorker:
“The photographs in the series “Hundred Times the Difference,” by the photographer Moa Karlberg, capture, in closeup, the faces of women in the final stages of giving birth. Across the images, there is a range of expressions: grit and sensuality, trepidation and expectation, pain and elation. But in their intimate perspective the photographs emphasize the women’s shared experience—the inward focus and physical determination in their final, transformative moments of becoming mothers”.
In a Q & A format, New Canadian Media have published a piece on policy advice for the next/new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, post the Oct 19th federal election. It’s a thoughtful piece by esteemed policy wonks, Andrew Griffith, Robert Vineberg, and Richard Kurland.
I have a few additions to propose. I’ll use the questions that form the NCM piece.
1. What advice would you give an incoming minister of immigration and multiculturalism?
I’m delighted to see the premise of this question because the minister of immigration and citizenship ought to also hold the multiculturalism portfolio.
I support the expert’s advice to update the citizenship guide, Discover Canada, but I’d also propose both child (birth to age eight) and youth (eight to 18) versions. This could be a lot of fun!
2. Would you change the relative proportion of economic, family unification and humanitarian (refugee) migrants arriving in Canada every year?
I agree with Vineberg and would support an increase in family class. See the Canadian Council for Refugees item on family reunification. Policy responses related to transnational families, unaccompanied and undocumented children are also warranted.
3. What’s the ideal number of newcomers (including refugees) that Canada should take in every year (compared to the current average)?
Kurland’s response “No such thing as an ideal number” is valid, but Griffith’s suggestion provides a clearer direction: “Set in place an advisory body, broadly-based, that would review the social and economic integration data, nationally and regionally, to provide recommendations to government for longer-term targets and assess whether current levels and mix are appropriate”. I would hope that such an advisory body would, beyond recommending targets and assessing mix, also examine and recommend ways to support integration for immigrant children and youth.
4. Should multiculturalism be official policy? What needs to change?
As stated, multiculturalism is official policy and entrenched in the Charter. Changes may be warranted and I would propose that early childhood educators and primary school teachers – and parents – be consulted on how the policy can support and promote not only the theory of multiculturalism, but the importance of integration for newcomer children.
5. Should provinces and municipalities have a greater role in immigration? What role should that be?
Yes! Since provinces and municipalities have responsibility for education and health, and these areas impact young children and youth directly, these levels of government must step up their involvement and work to ensure that appropriate policies and programs are in place to support and promote integration, health and well-being of immigrant children and youth.
6. What can a new government do differently to enable “foreign credential recognition”?
The new government must put in place a pan-Canadian child care program that is publicly funded, regulated, accessible, affordable, not-for-profit, and community based. As newcomer parents navigate the foreign credential process (and later, as they enter the workforce), a high-quality child care program is critical. A truly universal child care program would also be culturally relevant and take into consideration the needs of newcomer children and families.
The CBCs piece on “A young perspective on Syrian refugee children, past and present”.
The documentary includes testimonies from lawyers, social workers, academics and who have firsthand knowledge and insight into the hardship of family separation and the challenges of reunification.
The documentary is complete, but producers have turned to crowd-funding to get this documentary out.
A Call for proposals has been released for the 18th National Metropolis Conference, to be held in Toronto, Canada from March 3 to the 5th.
This year’s theme is Getting results: Migration, opportunities and good governance. From the conference website:
The 2016 National Metropolis Conference will focus on future immigration trends and policies and the challenges and opportunities that they create for Canadian society. The conference will include four plenary panels with distinguished speakers and workshop and round table sessions on a wide variety of topics related to immigration and diversity. We anticipate several hundred participants from Canada and abroad.
You can learn more about the conference and submit your proposal online at the conference website.